Drifting is becoming more and more popular with high-powered sports car owners. There’s something particularly enjoyable about slamming on the gas and skidding around a corner or pulling a donut while burning up the rear tires of the vehicle. This isn’t a fondness that Audi Sport Development chief Stephan Reil shares with those fans. Drift modes have been popping up on sport cars and supercars for years now, but Reil doesn’t see the point, and believes that the systems aren’t good for the vehicles.
Reil insists that drift modes are a waste of tires and time, and he says that they aren’t necessary either. It’s possible to drive the Audi R8, the RS3 and the RS6 without a button designed to let you do it, you just need to have the skills and the courage.
Drift it Yourself
To drift an Audi car you simply hold down the skid-control button for 3 seconds and all the safety nets will shut off. This makes it easy to drift to your heart’s content. The car is much more dangerous to drive around like this and it stops being good in track environments, but shutting off the safety nets is simple enough to do that most drift enthusiasts aren’t likely to complain.
Is Drift Mode Irresponsible or Not?
There are critics of the drift mode buttons in vehicles like the BMW M, the Ferrari F430, the Mclaren 720S and so many others, saying that the mode is irresponsible and encourages poor behavior and driving mechanics. They also state that it encourages excess driving without certain safety nets on the vehicle. Others say that drift mode is good because it keeps some of the safety nets intact. Without a drift mode you would have to shut off every safety net in order to drift. There is support in both directions, but if you don’t want to drift the old-fashioned way, it doesn’t make sense to pick up an Audi supercar anytime soon. They don’t come with drifting features, so you’ll have to make the magic happen all on your own.
Audi is known for making top-notch vehicles, but not necessarily for creating products that are fuel efficient. That’s why it’s impressive that the 2018 Q5 has received the highest EPA-estimated fuel economy rating within the competitive segment. It’s one of the most fuel-efficient mid-sized crossovers that you can get today, making it a highly desirable vehicle for buyers that are interested in saving money on gas and reducing their environmental impact while driving around in luxury.
It’s all in the Wheels
The 2018 Q5 comes with a special all-wheel drive setup known as Quattro with Ultra technology. The system offers completely adjustable torque at each of the four wheels, giving the right amount of power to each wheel depending on the situation. The crossover is able to do this thanks to a decoupling rear axle differential, as well as a multi-plate clutch system. Not only is the system highly variable, but it makes use of an electro-mechanical system and can engage in just 250 milliseconds, up to eight times faster than a standard all-wheel drive system.
To top it all off, the system makes use of a rear dog leg crutch to cut power to the rear differential and prop shaft on and off throughout driving to improve fuel economy. When you add in all the computers and sensors around the vehicle attached to a powerful computer that’s checking for loss of traction repeatedly, you get a very smooth driving vehicle that can take on most driving conditions without flinching.
Efficient and Powerful
The 2018 Audi Q5 is taking top spots for mid-sized crossovers thanks to its 25 MPG combined highway and city rating. It manages these figures while still having plenty of power to drive confidently. The crossover comes with a 2.0 liter TFSI four-cylinder engine that puts out 252 HP and 274 lb.-ft. of torque. It doesn’t feel sluggish in the slightest, and is a lot of fun to drive for this reason.
Luxurious with Leading Tech and Entertainment
The 2018 Q5 will be outfitted with top-end seats and upholstery throughout, it’s going to come with a modern infotainment system with app connectivity, and will likely look more modern than Audi vehicles today, creating a very enjoyable in-vehicle ride experience. Even without the industry-leading fuel economy of the 2018 Q5, it would be hard to look in another direction instead. It just has too much to offer to ignore, which is why it’s going to be a very popular vehicle when it’s finally released to the public.
For years driving enthusiasts lusted after the Audi RS 3 over in Europe. The little powerhouse of a vehicle could tear up a track while looking unassuming at the same time. It’s like the ultimate hot hatch, and it’s something that up until now we haven’t been able to get our hands on. That’s all about to change though, because Audi is bringing over an RS3 to the US, or at least as close as we can hope to get at present. This little car might look just like the A3, but don’t let that fool you, it comes packed with power and is a whole lot of fun to drive around.
For such a small and lightweight vehicle, the RS3 comes packed with power. It’s equipped with a five cylinder turbocharged engine that offers a massive 400 HP of driving force. The power is accompanied by 354 lb.-ft. of torque and very little turbo lag to boot. All that power is tied up to the very capable S Tronic automatic manual seven-speed shifter. It delivers lightning fast gear changes and is a capable tool to unlock all the power contained under the hood of this little beast.
Excellent Handling Mechanics
A powerful car is a lot of fun to drive around, but without the right handling mechanics it’s only good through straight lines. The RS3 offers all the power and top-notch handling mechanics to boot. The steering is nice and stiff and there’s a slight understeer or oversteer depending on the driving mode that your operating in. In standard mode you’ll face understeer. In dynamic drive mode you’ll have sweet glorious oversteer that makes it easy to whip around corners and slide the wheels while doing it. The capable all-wheel drive will help keep the car steady under pressure and you’ll be able to really apply pressure with all that power at your disposal.
Quality Build and Interior
Of course this model will pack in upscale finishes and extra media features like any top-end Audi is expected to. You’ll have all the comfort features that you could want in a sports car, and most of them are going to come standard so you won’t have to pay extra for comfort. Of course the price of the car will reflect all those features. It’s expected to retail upwards of $55,000 when it finally goes on sale this summer, which puts it in the middle of many similarly equipped high-performance cars from the likes of Mercedes and BMW.
Overall the RS3 isn’t a car you’re going to want to miss when it’s released in the US, and it’s going to be a vehicle that’s highly in demand when the time comes.
The EURO NCAP is a serious batch of crash tests that go on in Europe. They’re just as stringent, if not more so, than the tests that are done here in the states, but they’re looking at some different vehicles in the process. In order for vehicles to sell well in Europe, especially luxury vehicles, they need to perform well in the NCAP crash tests. That’s something that the latest Audi Q5 did with ease.
The Q5 Receives a Top NCAP Rating
The Q5 received 5 stars on the NCAP crash tests, the highest rating that you can get for tests of this type. The final score the vehicle received was a 93% for adult occupant protection. That’s a major boost up from the 89% that sedans based on the same platform received. This shows that if you want the safest Audi that you can get, you want to go with the SUV if you can.
About Euro NCAP
Euro NCAP has been putting out their own tests since 1997 and have been looking at test results carefully to help pick out the safest and least safe vehicles out on the road ever since. Their tests are regarded highly by automotive experts, and taking a top score is an impressive feat that helps set the Q5 apart as a solid safety vehicle.
How the Tests Work
During testing the Audi vehicle was smashes from all sides to look at how it held up to serious pressure. The results of all these crashes and smashes are monitored closely. Electronic crash test dummies fitted into the seats of the vehicle make it clear how the vehicle did on the test. A set of crash avoidance tests were put out too, showing that the Q5 is capable of avoiding collisions with other vehicles as well as pedestrians.
There are plenty of vehicles on the market today that talk about being safe, but it’s more important to look at test results and crash reports than to take the word of a company about how safe it is. That’s why the test results for the Q5 are important, and why more buyers that are interested in safety should take a close look at the Q5.
In most other countries station wagons are more popular than sedans or coupes. They offer similar performance while offering more storage space. Sure they aren’t the sexiest of vehicles most of the time, but they are highly practical and make for more efficient living. Well Audi has been selling station wagons for a few years now, and the automaker is really pushing the S5 sportback. Audi is pushing the wagon so much that it’s actually giving buyers a discount for choosing the S5 sportback over the coupe version of the vehicle.
The discount isn’t a significant one, but essentially when you go for the Sportback version you’ll save $200. It’s hard to decide if this is Audi’s way of just encouraging more people to try out a version of the vehicle that isn’t as popular, or if this is how Audi is moving some inventory that it doesn’t expect to sell as well. Either way, you’re getting more car for less money, and you’ll be able to enjoy all the things that you love from the S5 in this vehicle too.
When you opt for the S5 Sportback you’ll get two additional doors as well as more storage space at the rear of the vehicle. Handling characteristics are very similar and so are fuel efficiency figures. That means you can have the same amount of fun with this vehicle, you will just be able to bring more things along for the ride as you do it. That’s a pretty compelling reason to upsize to the Sportback, rather than settling for the standard coupe.
No Manual Transmission
The one downside to picking up the S5 sportback over the coupe is that you won’t be able to get yourself a manual transmission in the process. The car is only available with the automatic, so if you want to shift yourself you’ll have to go with the sedan or coupe instead, which is real shame for enthusiasts looking for that experience.
The S5 Sportback comes packed with a 3.0 liter V6 that’s attached to an eight-speed auto tranny and it can blaze from 0 to 60 in just 4.5 seconds. That’s some serious power and should make for a exciting station wagon experience.
If you are in the market for a station wagon with some serious teeth, you’ll want to check out the Audi S5 sportback. It offers all the best characteristics of the coupe, other than the look of course, as well as some added space for all your goodies.
The 2017 Audi A4 Allroad is an SUV version of the Audi A4 wagon and it’s a darned good option for drivers that want a mix of power, luxury and practicality. It’s a blast to drive, it comes with all the luxury features you would expect, and it looks pretty good too. Sure it’s not actually a wagon, for fans that are dying for an Audi wagon, but it’s the closest you’ll get in the U.S. and it’s basically the same vehicle as the wagon sold over in Europe.
Cargo Room to Spare
Let’s face it, if you’re planning on buying this mini SUV over a more sporty sedan, you’re probably interested in cargo space and what sorts of things you can store in the back. You’ll have no trouble slipping in camping gear, groceries, a stroller, or just about anything else that you can think of. There’s a nice covered cargo area that’s designed for easy access and the space at the rear of the vehicle is impressively large for the size of the thing.
Switch to Just the Right Drive Mode
While operating this A4 SUV you have a few different drive modes to choose from, and the impressive thing with these modes is that you’ll notice very distinct differences as you switch from one to the other. The two main drive modes that you’ll use are comfort and dynamic. Comfort allows you to glide over the road without feeling its imperfections. Dynamic forces you to feel every little bump and bruise on the road and really gives you improved control over the vehicle. Flipping from comfort to dynamic is like hopping from one vehicle to another. Performance is that vastly different, and that’s pretty impressive.
Powerful and Fun
With a total of 252 HP this little SUV packs a punch. 0 to 60 takes about 6 seconds, and you’ll find yourself moving faster than expected in this vehicle. The dual-clutch is smooth and responsive and accelerating is mostly enjoyable.
Finally I have to take a moment to talk about the interior of the vehicle and all that it has to offer. It’s outfitted with leather and wood and black. It’s soft to the touch, sophisticated to look at, and it fits right in with the other Audi vehicles sold today. If you’re looking for a vehicle that will impress on the inside, this one is it.
Audi fans will love the look and feel of the A4 Allroad, but they’ll have more storage than most other Audi drivers out on the road, which is really nice most of the time.
Audi enthusiasts were thrilled when they found out that the Audi RS3 Sport was going to make it to the United States, but there’s a hatchback version of the sports car that will likely never make it over to the states. That’s a huge disappointment because it comes with all the capabilities of the RS3, just with enhanced interior space for storage and seating. It’s the ultimate combination of utility and performance for a really exciting ride.
The Same Power
Just like the RS3, the RS3 Sportback comes with a 2.5 liter engine with 400 HP. It travels from 0 to 62 in a stunning 4.1 seconds, and tops out at up to 174 MPH if you get the option to increase the top speed. It’s an exciting speed machine that’s fit for use on a track.
This sports car comes with more performance-focused bucket seats up front, but it’s outfitted like an upscale luxury model, which is expected of an Audi vehicle. The interior has a clean look, top-notch media setup, and quality interior materials that give the vehicle a beautiful look. The seats are wrapped in black Nappa Leather, and there’s a virtual cockpit where the gauges once were. There’s even a special RS screen that shows off the tire pressure and the overall torque output as well as the g-forces of the vehicle as you whip around a track or any other course.
Enhanced Storage and Interior Space
While the RS3 wasn’t exactly tiny, the RS3 Sportback is outright roomy. It’s equipped with a large hatch that opens up wide to accept a range of bags and other items for storage purposes. The hatchback is exciting to drive, and it comes with all the features that you would expect of an Audi, just with more space to make use of.
The Audi RS3 Sportback looks to be a phenomenal vehicle, it’s a shame that it isn’t going to be offered in the US. It has a lot of potential and would be worth a serious look for anyone wanting power and storage all in one.
Audi has made a name for itself out of creating beautiful vehicles that perform beautifully, and the 2017 Audi A6 fits right into that mold. It responds nicely, has plenty of power, looks gorgeous and has more than enough features to satisfy most drivers. Read on for a more detailed look at the different features.
It’s expected that Audi vehicles will look luxurious and beautiful within, and the 2017 A6 doesn’t disappoint in that regard. The seats are coated with a supple leather, the interior is coated with beautiful walnut wood, the rear seat is nice and spacious for a few adults or three children to lounge, and the interior has the nice clean look that Audi enthusiasts love. Overall it’s obvious that you’re in a luxury vehicle while inside the A6, which is just what I like to see.
Audi’s are always styled nicely on the outside, but they are generally quite reserved. The A6 comes with standard 18-inch wheels but the Sport package will push those wheels up to a more impressive 19-inch construction. The car shows off smooth lines with just enough aggressive creases to give it a sporty look. The car comes standard with LED taillights and Xenon headlights.
Sure the car looks nice, but what stood out most during the testing was all the power that the vehicle offers. It’s packed to the brim with raw power and energy, and it offers it up so smoothly that you won’t feel the need to hold back at all. That means you can slam down on the gas and make full use of all 252 HP that the car comes with. The 4-cylinder turbo engine is efficient, and you’ll transition from low power to high up thanks to the silky 8-speed transmission. If the standard power isn’t enough for you, there’s also an option to bump it up to a V6 with 333 HP or you can go nuts with a 450 HP V8, but I was impressed with the performance of the base engine option. The car comes with a variety of drive select modes, allowing you to tune performance for speed or efficiency. IT can travel from 0 to 60 in about 6 seconds with the base engine, which is more than fast enough for most people.
Cool Safety Tech
Audi isn’t Audi without at least a few fancy tech features, and this car comes with its fair share of them. It has a Five star overall crash and safety rating thanks to a very complex airbag system that includes protection at the sides and front of the vehicle. The seats feature the LATCH system in the rear, and there’s a bunch of cool safety features in the Driver Assistance package.
If you opt for the package you’ll enjoy Lane Assist, that lets you know when you leave your lane. There’s also an Adaptive Cruise control feature that will help you remain at speed with the cars ahead of you so that you don’t have to shut off cruise when someone slows down. There’s even a high beam assistant and a top view camera that comes with distance sensors for easy driving in tight quarters. Overall the 2017 Audi A6 is very capable when it comes to safety features.
If you are looking for a mid-sized sedan that packs power, comfort, beauty and tech features under one roof, the A6 is a good bet.
Not too long ago vinyl wraps were a popular way to customize vehicles. They made it easy to put your own designs onto a car and create some contrast to the standard look of the vehicle. Unfortunately those wraps wear out quickly and go from looking nice, to looking old and low quality. So by and large, vehicle customization, other than custom paint jobs, has gone away. That is until now. Audi figured out a way to create custom tattoos on vehicles. These tattoos are protected by the protective coating that keeps paint in good shape, unlike those vinyl wraps, and they are expected to be long-lasting and highly reliable.
How They Work
The tattoos are actually little abrasions on the surface of your vehicles clear coat. Audi puts a template over top of your vehicle in the spot you want the image to go and then applies a powder over the surface. The powder rubs away a tiny bit of the clear coat and leaves behind an image.
Adding Tattoos to Your Vehicle
While Audi has the process down, that doesn’t mean that you can customize any vehicle that you want to with a tattoo. Right now you can only customize the Audi R8 in this way, so you’ll have to be ready to pony up some serious cash in order to try this feature out. If you are planning on picking up an Audi R8, you’ll be able to add symbols right onto the side blades of the vehicle. Audi is willing to put anything you want there, as long as it doesn’t infringe on any copyrights in the process.
Coming to More of the Lineup
Even though this technology isn’t offered on most Audi vehicles just yet, that doesn’t mean that it won’t be in the future. Audi is very likely to begin offering these tattoos on more of its vehicles later on as the technology matures. So you may not be able to afford these modifications at the moment, but you’ll be able to take advantage of them sometime in the future.
So many automakers are going on record saying that autonomous driving is a long ways off. Toyota is one of those automakers that still believes fully autonomous vehicles are far off into the future, but that’s not what Audi says, and the automaker has been working with some cutting edge technology with its partnership with NVidia to develop autonomous vehicles capable of navigating in changing environments using deep learning technology.
A Car that Teaches Itself
Audi is working on a vehicle that’s going to teach itself to drive. This is known as “deep learning” artificial intelligence, and it’s where the vehicle will actually learn how to safely drive around roads and other obstacles without needing to be programmed and updated all the time. Essentially the car sees obstacles, navigates around them slowly and learns how to handle them more efficiently in the future.
Proof of Concept
In order to prove its concept Audi took a vehicle that knew nothing at all just a few days earlier, and had it drive itself around a test track. The vehicle was able to take a few difficult corners, and more impressively, it was able to navigate around a barrier that was put into its path during standard driving.
This model from Audi is very different from the self-driving vehicle that Google relied on years ago. It looks very similar to other Q7 models, and just relies on a single forward-facing camera in order to gauge the road and what is happening on it. The sheer simplicity of the system shows just how effective Audi’s deep learning technology can be.
Self Driving By 2020
Audi is confident that this technology can dramatically speed up the time that it’s going to take to get effective self-driving vehicles out onto the road. The automaker believes it will be able to release a mostly autonomous vehicle by 2020. If cameras and learning computers are fitted onto a large number of Audi vehicles in the future, the automaker could tap into a huge amount of driving data and probably increase the intelligence of its AI system for future use.
There’s no telling if Audi is right about being able to release an advanced vehicle by 2020, but if the automaker continues to work with NVidia and develop vehicles via deep learning, it’s hard to say what is possible.